Once a woman selling cutlery
convinced me that paring knives
work best around tough bodies,
the dirt-roughened skin of potatoes.
I had been using my tarnished peeler
for years, but embraced liaison
with shiny stainless, the slip-proof grip.
No regrets, the store clerk winked.
Back home, I flung off my coat
then proceeded to remove jagged centimeters
from tubers with left-handed falter
until the blade hit bone.
Dishrags wiped every slate clean
and ER sutures closed the case.
Still I hid the wound from my husband,
there were the kids to consider.
In time I returned to my old tool that tossed
rinds about the kitchen like centrifuged socks,
to finding dried strips under tables
or between cans weeks after the sordid act.